Saturday, March 26, 2016

Terrestrial God and Celestial God

Terrestrial God and Celestial God:

மண்ணுலக தெய்வமும், விண்ணுலக தெய்வமும்:

Vaishnavism is one of the indigenous religions of the Tamils, ranking second to Saivaism. Vishnu Purana extols Vishnu as the supreme God-head. This is natural. No author of a Purana will fail to give the first place to his deity. The very purpose of a Purana is that. But all historical scholars and research students are agreed that Siva is the most ancient and the most important figure of the Indian pantheon. He is the pre-historic hero-God associated with radical vitality and renunciation. At Thiruvarur, one of the famous temples for him, He is addressed as Thiagarajah, __ the King of renouncers.

I do not know whether you have ever seen the figure of Vishnu in the recumbent position. This is His normal position in the most ancient and famous Temple of South India at Srirangam. The couch upon which Vishnu rests, - known as Anantasayana, - is formed of the long coils of a huge snake. The many-headed Adi-Sesha and Ananta are the two inseparable attendants upon Vishnu. Cosmologically speaking, the snake is the principle of time, continuity or eternity. The form reposing on its coils is that of Divine Principle.

Siva is reputed as a terrestial God, whereas Vishnu is a celestial one, coming to the world as an Avatar whenever truth, justice and righteousness decline and humanity has to be saved. This is the difference to be remembered for proper understanding of their respective functions. However, to the Vaishanavites, He is the supreme Divinity.

During the 3rd to 6th centuries A.D., Hinduism had faded all over India. Two sets of Saints appeared to resuscitate the theistic religious of Saivaism by Saiva Nayanmars and Vaishnavism by Alwars.
(This is an excerpt of the lectures of Mr. K.Ramachandra, on Hinduism, the Author of the book ‘Religious Digest’ who delivered his lecture at Colombo in 1971)

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